Printers

Review: Plustek MobileOffice AD450 scanner

The Plustek MobileOffice AD450 scanner is designed for the professional on the go who needs a functioning mobile office, complete with a scanner.

The ability to scan documents while on the road is of paramount importance to many mobile professionals. But they don't want to have this ability add bulk and hassle to their already considerable notebook bag of tools. The Plustek MobileOffice AD450 scanner may be just the device they are looking for.

The review unit was provided by Plustek.

Specifications

  • Product: MobileOffice AD450
  • Manufacturer: Plustek
  • Dimensions: 98 x 288.5 x 75 mm (3.8"x 11.36"x 2.96"), 4.7 pounds
  • System requirements: PC with Pentium III 1GHz or faster CPU, CD-ROM, two available USB Ports, 256MB RAM (512MB or higher recommended), 800MB free HDD space (1GB or larger recommended), VGA graphic card
  • Operating system: Window 2000 / XP / Vista / 7
  • Optical resolution: 600 dpi
  • Scanning speed: Maximum of 9 ppm
  • Cost: $224 on Amazon.com
  • Additional vendor information
  • TechRepublic Photo Gallery

Who it is for?

The Plustek MobileOffice AD450 scanner is designed for the professional on the go who needs a functioning mobile office, complete with a scanner.

What problem does it solve?

For those professionals who are on the road visiting clients, customers, vendors, and other important contacts, the last thing then need is more bulk to carry. The AD450 is small enough to be just a small addition to an already equipped notebook bag, so there will be no additional luggage and just a small addition to the overall weight of the mobile office.

Special features

  • Push button scanning: One of the best features of the AD450 is the push-button scanning. There are three buttons on the side of the unit that act like macros for a particular type of scan, one for business cards, one for PDFs, and one for images.
  • Compact: This mobile scanner is not as small as some others, but it is still very compact. What extra bulk there is is well worth it for the additional power and the excellent scanning hardware.
  • Software: The software that ships with the AD450 is extensive and includes applications for scanning and managing business cards, manipulating and annotating images, and creating searchable PDFs.
  • Plastic business card scanner: The AD450 includes a special slot in the back of the unit where you can insert plastic business cards that will not bend and therefore would not flow through the feeding system.
  • OCR recognition: The software does an excellent job of translating images into readable documents or contact information. The ability to scan both sides of a business card saves a great amount of time.
  • USB Power: The AD450 can be powered using a conventional AC Power adapter or a USB 2.0 connection to a PC, which is great for when you cannot get to a wall outlet.

What is wrong?

  • Look and feel: While the AD450 ships with a multitude of applications and while they all function well, users may be left with a feeling that they are using older software. The user interface is marked by large Windows 95-style icons and buttons that scream "not updated in a very long time." And while that may not matter when it comes to actually scanning something, it does give one pause.

Competition

Bottom line for business

The Plustek MobileOffice AD450 scanner is a serviceable tool for the consummate road warrior and will generally not disappoint even the most particular user when it comes to the actual process of scanning documents. However, experienced users will note the clunky user interface found in the applications and may wonder if something needs updating.

User rating

Have you encountered or used Plustek MobileOffice AD450 scanner? If so, what do you think? Rate your experience and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.

Read our field-tested reviews of hardware and software in TechRepublic's Product Spotlight newsletter, delivered each Thursday. We explain who would use the product and describe what problem the product is designed to solve. Automatically sign up today!

Next Page (Photo Gallery) >>

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

3 comments
Lamt
Lamt

The problem with all these scanners is that they are most unsuitable for copying from a bound book. How do you scan effectively when there is little on the market to service the need?

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

What mobile office tools do you seldom leave home without? Do you always have a scanner? Do you have a favorite mobile scanner that you recommend we review?

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

The ability to scan books with a mobile scanner is not a task I see occurring very often, but perhaps I am wrong. Can you enlighten me on what it is you do that requires book scanning while you are on the road and away from you flat-bed scanner?

Editor's Picks